United Airlines yesterday unveiled the dining and retail concessions for the airline’s new Terminal B south concourse at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The list is led by two new celebrity-chef venues with local and regional ties, and other first-time dining concessions with Texas roots, as well as several familiar airport favorites.
The $95 million south concourse redevelopment, which will open in mid-April, is a new 225,000-square-foot facility that will accommodate United Express regional flights. At nearly four times the size of the previous south concourse, the new space will provide a better customer experience, featuring modern and expanded gate-lounge areas, 17 food, beverage and retail concessions and a spacious central passenger lounge with expansive tarmac views.
“Travelers want the same high-quality dining and shopping experiences they have at home, and we selected the new Terminal B concessions with that in mind,” said Kate Gebo, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “We’re pleased to introduce several first-time airport concessions from well-known restaurants that offer variations on Texas flavors, along with established airport concession brands that are already popular with our customers.”
First-time airport concession 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House is the creation of Houston native and celebrated chef Bryan Caswell and noted food and beverage director Bill Floyd. In 2008, Bon Appetit magazine named Caswell and Floyd’s seafood restaurant Reef, located in Houston’s Midtown, the Number 1 seafood restaurant in the United States, and Caswell was named among Food & Wine magazine’s Top 10 Best New Chefs in 2009. Caswell has been seen on the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef and on Bravo’s Top Chef. He is also a member of United’s Congress of Chefs.
“We’re excited to bring 3rd Bar from Reef Restaurant to United’s new terminal at Bush Intercontinental Airport,” said Caswell. “We look forward to offering expertly prepared seafood from one of Houston’s high-profile restaurants to travelers in Terminal B.”
Another airport first is The Fruteria, developed by San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, whose passion for Mexican street food has caught the attention of Travel & Leisure, Southern Living and Bravo’s Top Chef.
The Fruteria will fuse the vitality of Mexican culture with a contemporary Houston vibe – by day serving fruit cocktails, fruit and vegetable juices, a variety of smoothies and Mexican coffees. To satisfy heartier appetites, The Fruteria will feature robust torta sandwiches and creative Mexican-inspired tostadas. By night, The Fruteria will transform into a buzzing, contemporary cocktail lounge featuring fresh fruit tequila cocktails.
Other new airport concessions include Texas icon Whataburger; Bullrito’s, also a Texas native, that will feature fresh Tex-Mex; and Barcuterie, which will offer cured meats and classic cheeses in an energetic bar setting.
Familiar favorites such as Famous Famiglia, Fresh Gourmet Marketplace, Panda Express and Starbucks round out the Terminal B south concourse food and beverage options.
Global restaurateur HMSHost is the operator of 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House, The Fruteria, Barcuterie and Starbucks.
Travelers in the Terminal B south concourse will also have a variety of shopping options.
- The iStore Boutique is the first airport retail concept authorized to sell Apple devices. The store carries an extensive selection of both electronic hardware and accessories, such as e-readers, laptops, tablets, cases and chargers, from a variety of brands.
- Relay, the only international airport travel essentials brand, was founded in Paris in 1852. Today, its more than 1300 stores around the world create a sense of place, with every location reflecting the city and region in which it is located. Relay stocks a range of products from travel accessories to books, toys, gifts and health and beauty items.
- Brookstone’s highly interactive store will offer the latest business and tech gear, tablet accessories, checkpoint-friendly luggage, travel pillows and blankets and a selection of “what did you bring me?” gifts.
- International beauty brand The Body Shop is known for its creative, innovative and effective products made using animal cruelty-free and fair-trade standards.
- Other well-known retail stores include Ice Currency Exchange, Johnston & Murphy, Natalie’s Candy Jar and Nuance Duty Free.
With 15,000 square feet of concessions, the new concession space is 500-percent larger than the concession space in the previous south concourse facility.
Westfield leased and will manage the retail and food and beverage operations in the Terminal B south concourse. Westfield is currently responsible for leasing and managing the concessions in the Terminal B north concourse and in Terminal E at Bush Intercontinental Airport.